In a North American University, a student was figuring out a way of finding stuff on the Internet and came up with a 6 letter name for his Internet search tool. The year was 1990. That rules out Google, which only came along in 1995. If you’re out of guesses, then think McGill. A student named Alan Emtage developed Archie, which was a search tool for finding documents on the Internet. You might think of that as the first Internet search engine. It had more limited capabilities but it happened here in Montreal.
If you’d like to explore more on the early history of search before Google was around, then you will find an excellent post by my friend, William Slawski, on his SEO By The Sea blog. He is one of the most erudite and knowledgeable commentators on the Internet scene. The post is entitled, “Just what was the first search engine?“.